Albion may have been nestled at the bottom of the league since mid-November, but it took 37 rounds for the relentless Baggies to concede relegation to the Championship. Although Mowbray’s men were always labeled as victims for the drop, rather then candidates for survival, a late rally of positive results was a reminder that a comeback was never too far from Albions reach. However, their lack of quality and inability to convert scoring opportunities ultimately decided that they weren’t prepared for another season in England’s top flight.
Now, second division champions Wolves find themsleves in the same position as Albion did twelve months ago. Apparently they’re the best side coming up from the Championship, but that doesn't seem to mean anything in modern football. So what does Wolverhampton have to do to insure their not the eighth title winning side chopped by the relegation axe?
The first and potentially most decisive step rests upon the transactions performed by newly promoted clubs during the off season. The summer transfer window can often become the most crucial decision making period of the entire season for these teams. Affairs performed during this period can be the difference between relegation and promotion, and this season has become a prime example of the significance that summer preparations can carry with regard for the rest of the season. Hull City's and Stoke's survival is a credit to the additions made to their sqaud during the summer window. West Brom were the most inactive of the three clubs during the summer and consequently suffered the price of demotion unlike Hull and Stoke.
When I was offered the role of being the West Brom correspondent at the beginning of the season, I only had the choice of choosing between Albion, Hull, and Stoke as those were the only teams left available. Instinctively, I thought that Hull would drop as hard as Derby and Stoke simply didn’t have enough quality for the Premier League. Finally, West Bromwich we're division two champions which logically made them the most likley newcomers with the ability of achieving survival. and so my division was made.
Every season, we assume that the second division champions are always the most likely candidates capable of securing a spot outside the relegation zone, however, that certainly isn't always the case. Since the inception of the Premier League in 1992-93, seven title winning division two teams have been relegated from the Premiership the following season. As a result, does it really matter whether promotion is secured as Champions, runners-up, or playoff winners? Aside from an extra trophy in your clubs cabinet, all the perks and rewards tend to be to same: 60 million pounds and promotion to the Premiership. Come seasons end, isn't that what second divsion sides strive to achieve? I don’t intend to demean the prestige of being crowned second division Champions, as that should be the ambition of any team in the Coca-Cola Championship, however, champions or not it doesn’t seem to make a difference whether a club has the capabilities of surviving the challenges of life in the Premier League. After all, Burnley secured a spot through the playoff round and they’ve got a trophy to add to their shelf too; a club who after 46 rounds of football finished 5th in the league. Does the title really matter, or is promotion simply the ultimate prize of success for Championship clubs?
||Post your comment